Why you should book boutique
To us, boutique means a small, intimate hotel or somewhere you feel like family rather than one of the masses.
But this definition isn't the only reason to book a boutique resort or hotel. When you book boutique, you're buying into a private little oasis for you and your travel companion/s. A place where you can really feel comfortable throughout your stay, knowing that you're only going to receive high-end service with a very genuine smile.
Not only are boutique hotels and resorts reasonably priced but they often have rave reviews from the visitors they welcome. With superb facilities and a personal touch you'll remember for years to come, there's no wonder why!
We've hand-picked some of our favourite boutique hotels and resorts, so you can get a feel for them yourself...
Cosy, authentic and charming, Astroea Beach overlooks a beautiful stretch of Mauritian beach, ideal for snorkelling. Intimate and peaceful, it’s the type of place where you wake up to birds singing and only the sound of the waves to lull you to sleep.
With just 16 rooms, there’s the benefit of staff knowing you by name and remembering your favourite table and drinks after one meal. Astroea Beach is one of the smallest hotels in Mauritius, with rooms available in the main building or in bungalows dotted throughout the gardens, each with sea or garden views.
Returning after a busy day to the serenity of this little boutique hotel is simply wonderful - no crowds, no noise, just peaceful relaxation and great personalised service.
"Mauritius is a beautiful island. We drove across the island from coast to coast and saw sugar cane fields, stunning sandy beaches and waterfalls. I recommend staying at a boutique resort, like Astroea Beach – you’ll see the island from a different perspective."
Melanie Bartlett, Kuoni
A luxurious Thai boutique hideaway, the SALA Rattanakosin is in a prime location along the Eastern Bank of the legendary Chao Phraya River and opposite the famous Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun), as well as many of Bangkok's other iconic attractions, such as the Grand Palace and Wat Po Temple.
Nestled within the Rattanakosin Island, a formerly walled town, this hotel is a serene hideaway where you can relax after a day's sightseeing amidst the colourful magic of Bangkok. At night, the view is particularly mesmerising right outside your window.
A boutique hotel with breathtaking views over the bay of Trou-aux-Biches. Le Cardinal is exclusive to Kuoni guests in the UK and only has 13 sea-facing suites. This intimate hotel is a couples’ favourite (just look at its reviews), with friendly staff and a laid-back luxe atmosphere. In tranquil gardens, fronting a long sandy beach, Le Cardinal is small and uncomplicated. Relax in style, either by the infinity pool or on the sprawling beach, or seek out the small pampering ‘nest’ with ocean views, perfect for couples’ treatments.
If you're feeling a little more active, The Boathouse offers complimentary watersports, including kayaking in waters sheltered by the coral reef, plus waterskiing and windsurfing. Twice a day there’s also scheduled snorkelling and glass-bottom boat trips - ideal for a little adventure.
With just seven rooms inside the walled gardens of Nisala Arana, meaning ‘Secret Garden’, this is one of our smallest boutique hotels. What's more the owners are always on hand to ensure your personalised service.
Not your typical Bentota Hotel, Nisala Arana is family owned and is as intimate as you can get. As it's off the beaten track, Nisala Arana benefits from an atmosphere of total seclusion, however, the friendly staff will happily organise trips with the hotel's tuk-tuk or vintage car hire (at a small cost.) The hotel also has bicycles, should you wish to cycle the 2km to the beach or a nearby village. Alternatively, if that all sounds a bit like hard work, you can relax by the pool or in one of the hammocks dotted throughout the gardens.
Meals focus on using the best fresh local ingredients and are happily tailored to your needs. You can choose to dine in the restaurant itself or out under the stars. For those with a love of tea and cake, a complimentary high tea is also served daily and we highly recommend it!
"From the moment I stepped out of the plane and smelt Sri Lanka, I fell in love with this beautiful nation. Nisala Arana is surrounded by stunning scenery - where you're bound to come away filled with happy memories."
Carolina Norris, Personal Travel Expert
If you're looking for that special boutique in Antigua, then Keyonna Beach is it. This exclusive resort has a stunning beachfront location with only 15 rooms and cottages.
Keyonna Beach offers low-key relaxation and blissful escapism. Kick off your shoes and sink your toes into the soft white sands at this laid back hotel, which is just steps from the calm, clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. Experience the slower pace of life and friendly Caribbean service, as you spend your days lazing by the pool or relaxing on spacious Bali beds.
All rooms are intimate havens but we highly recommend the spacious Beachview Cottages, which offer facilities such as a refreshing outdoor shower and a deck with sea views.
Just moments from the busy centre of Sanur, you’ll find the tranquil hideaway of Sudamala. A laid back, modern boutique inspired by local culture, in keeping with its Balinese surroundings.
Owned by an art collector, there are hand-crafted pieces throughout the hotel, as well as a small gallery featuring contemporary works by local artists and international artists in residence in Bali.
You’ll need to take a five-minute stroll – or a short cycle – past local cafés and boutiques to reach the hotel’s private area of beach, complete with sun loungers and canopies but once you arrive, you'll realise it's more than worth the short journey.